Network and computer systems administrators design, install and support an organization’s computer systems. They are responsible for local-area networks (LAN), wide-area networks (WAN), network segments and Internet and intranet systems.
Computer support specialists provide technical assistance and advice to customers and other users. This occupational group includes technical support specialists and help-desk technicians.
Those pursuing a career in this field should:
- Have strong problem-solving and analytical skills
- Be able to communicate effectively on paper, via e-mail, over the phone or in person
- Have strong writing skills, which are useful in preparing manuals for employees and customers
Employment and Salary Information
The career outlook for computer support specialists is positive. By 2022, the number of jobs is projected to increase by 17%, a faster-than- average growth rate* when compared with all other U.S. careers. Nationwide, median annual earnings of computer support specialists were $54,960, or $24.22 per hour* in May 2014.
The industries employing the most computer support specialists in 2014 were:
- Computer systems design and related services
- Educational services (state, local, and private) Information
- Finance and insurance
- Wholesale trade
* Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The ECC Computer Information Systems program focuses on a wide range of fundamentals and product-specific technology such as database and application software. In addition, because the college is a Cisco Networking Academy, it is able to offer specially-designed curriculum for training technicians on this equipment. Classes in networking technology, operating systems and client-server development tools ready students for employment in several areas of the computer technology and information field. Furthermore, upon completion of the coursework, students are prepared to take the:
- CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) exam
- Network+ exam (CompTIA’s certification)
Assuming appropriate placement scores, a full-time student (who begins in the fall) can complete either the CIS Certificate of Achievement or the Network Technician Certificate of Achievement in 18 months. ECC also offers both an associate of applied science (work-ready degree) and associate of arts (transfer degree) in computer information systems.
Additional Program Information*
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)
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* Applies to both certificate tracks